“Just as Walter White veers down a certain path of destruction, Jesse Pinkman, former dropout junkie, becomes the moral center of the show,” Atwood writes. “Jesse may be the one person who’s actually redeemed by the end.”

Jesse’s metamorphosis is from bad to better (if not good). His moral compass, though bruised and battered, still works and, as the final season unfolds, its calibration seems to be increasingly accurate.

“Both of these men are changing, but they’re aiming for opposite ends of the moral spectrum,” says Atwood, who goes on to quote the 19th-century Christian author George MacDonald, who said, “There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection.”

In an interview last year, Gilligan said: “I want to believe there is some sort of cosmic balancing of the scales at the end of it all. I’d just like to believe there’s some point to it all. I’d like to believe that there is. Everything is just too random and chaotic absent that.”

Will Walt’s story end with the brutal judgment he deserves? Or will there be another unexpected turn in this complex cautionary tale — one that veers toward mercy and the kind of grace that exists outside of karma.

Atwood seems to be rooting for the latter. And if I’m honest, so am I.

“The gospel shouts that grace exists, even for the most diabolical of sinners,” Atwood says. “The story that (God has) plotted out for you from time immemorial to the future date of your passing can ultimately be a good story, if only you’ll allow it to be so.”

*(Cathleen Falsani is the faith & values columnist for the Orange County Register. You can follow her on Twitter @godgrrl.)

**This Article published 8/20/2013